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New St. John's speakeasy, Cork’d Lounge, is fulfilling a dream for first time owner Sherrie Hollohan

Sherrie Hollohan looks over plans for Cork’d Lounge, a speakeasy wine bar she is preparing to open on Duckworth Street. It is located on the ground floor of the MIX building. Workers are on site daily and Hollohan hopes to be open in mid-to-late August.
Sherrie Hollohan looks over plans for Cork’d Lounge, a speakeasy wine bar she is preparing to open on Duckworth Street. It is located on the ground floor of the MIX building. Workers are on site daily and Hollohan hopes to be open in mid-to-late August. - Sam McNeish

Downtown location set to open in a month

It has always been a dream of Sherrie Hollohan's to operate her own downtown wine bar.

Now that dream is just mere weeks away from opening, scheduled for some time in mid-to-late August to be precise.

Its name is fitting for the type of establishment it will be — Cork’d Lounge — a speakeasy that specializes in wine, but also has spirits and beer available to its clientele.

The location is on the ground-floor of the MIX building (the former Newtel building). 

“I worked on George Street for years. I always said that I would like to be off of there, and into my own place by the time I turn 50 and here we are,’’ she said.

“This is going to be a cozy, comfy and sophisticated speakeasy. It won’t be loud, the lighting is soft and there will be soft music as a backdrop,’’ she added noting it is a place she believes is long overdue in downtown St. John’s.

Hollohan hopes people can make an evening out of a visit to Cork’d. Once it opens for business she hopes people will come in, taste some wines, grab a drink, enjoy the charcuterie table that will be Cork’d’s form of sustenance … and the ambience.

She said it will be an industrial look from floor to ceiling and the atmosphere will be intimate, complete with modern and trendy designs that are elegant in its presentation.

The bar will be 14-feet wide and a host of shelving will be along the wall behind the bar. It will be divided into sections that will house a wide selection of wines in three sections and spirits and glassware in the other two sections.

“This has been a lot of work, but to say I wasn’t excited would be a lie,’’ she said.

“I have had this idea for such a long time. I have wanted to own a wine bar for years. I left the bar business after 17 years and worked in real estate. I started thinking about this, so I told myself I had to follow my dreams,’’ she added.

Hollohan said she is excited — but nervous — about the venture, a 925-square-foot bar that is fully accessible - including the entrance and washrooms.

“This will be a premiere and elegant place for people to come and be part of a wine-tasting experience,” Hollohan said.

“I have gotten lots of calls and emails wishing me well,’’ she added.


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